Hue Jackson believes Steelers would be best fit for Colin Kaepernick
Hue Jackson was not able to get an up-close look at Colin Kaepernick after the free agent quarterback bailed on the workout the NFL organized for him, but the former Cleveland Browns coach still has an opinion on which team might make the most sense for Kaepernick.
Jackson, who was supposed to lead the drills for Kaepernick at last Saturday’s workout, sat down to discuss the situation with Kristine Leahy of FS1. He said he believes Kaepernick is good enough to play in the NFL again, but it would have to be with “the right team and the right environment and the right people.”
“Some (team that has) a strong head coach who has been through the ups and downs of the NFL and understands how to deal with the media. That’s going to be a huge piece if he’s on your football team,” Jackson said. “A team and organization that has a strong locker room that can handle that type of personality in the locker room. Colin’s become iconic, somewhat. … I don’t think everybody’s equipped to (handle) that.”
When asked if there is a specific team that comes to mind, Jackson mentioned the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“When you think about the Steelers, because of how they do their business,” he said. “Any team that has that longevity of a head coach in an organization, they normally know how to do it and do it right. That’s the team that comes to mind right away for me.”
That is an interesting choice, especially given all the drama that unfolded in Pittsburgh with Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. The Steelers are still a winning organization and have been able to remain in the playoff hunt despite losing Ben Roethlisberger to an injury this season, but people have been critical of the way head coach Mike Tomlin has handled star players.
Jackson was also asked if he believes Kaepernick genuinely wants to play in the NFL again.
“I’m not gonna say that he really doesn’t want to play. Obviously, there’s something that’s stopping him from feeling comfortable around National Football League employees to demonstrate his ability,” Jackson said. “But I also understand that the only way you’re gonna get back in the league is to do that in front of this group.”
We believe we have discovered why the NFL suddenly reached out to Kaepernick to invite him to work out in front of teams, though Jackson said he thinks the league was genuinely trying to give the 32-year-old a chance. As for whether or not the Steelers will sign Kaepernick, that seems as unlikely as any team bringing him in given what unfolded last weekend.